It has been forever since I’ve blogged. So much has been happening and it’s been hard to keep up. But I happen to have a few minutes to spare between chasing my toddler and nursing my newborn, so I figured I’d share the birth story.
If you don’t like words like “cervix” or “vaginal” I suggest just skipping this post. Cause birth is all about the privates.
Also, just a side note, this baby has been measuring big this whole pregnancy. Like, 95th percentile big. Thank you, gestational diabetes!
We went to the doctor a few days before the birth for my weekly check up with my OBGYN, and after checking my cervix, she told me I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated. She gave us two options. Either we could induce her ASAP, at 37 weeks, and try for a vaginal delivery, or we could plan on a c-section for 39 weeks. She explained that trying vaginally was risky since she was measuring so big; babies of mothers with gestational diabetes tend to have bigger tummys, which means their shoulders can get stuck and cause complications. But after talking and praying about what to do, we decided the best option was to induce. So we spent the next three days cleaning and prepping and cooking like mad people to get ready for her early arrival.
Tuesday, October 18, at 5:00am, we went to the hospital. I put on that sexy gown and those hospital socks, got pricked and poked with IV needles, got pitocin all up in me, and when the contractions really picked up, I got the epidural.
Funny story: Right after I got the epi, but before they put in the catheter, I started feeling like I needed to pee. I was too numb to do anything, so I naturally started freaking out, yelling at Mark “I’m about to pee the bed! How do I stop it?!” And before I knew it, I was peeing. All over the hospital bed. Which made me laugh uncontrollably, probably because of the drugs I was on, but also because of how crazy the whole situation was. I called a nurse in to tell them the embarrassing news, and continued laughing, but then realized the more I laughed, the more I peed. And the pee wasn’t stopping. The nurse checked, and sure enough, I wasn’t actually peeing. My water had broken. Ha!
I took a few cat naps, watched movies, and just laid there while the nurse came and checked my progress periodically.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t dilating much at all. So they put weird pillows between my legs and twisted and turned me around into weird pretzel positions, hoping that it would help get things moving. But it didn’t.
Finally, after 12 hours of labor, my doctor checked me, saw I hadn’t made progress, and told me the baby was too big to come down any further. It was time to go to plan B: C-Section.
I knew this was a possibility, but I was still pretty shocked at what was happening. I was about to have surgery. What the heck?!
They turned the epi WAY up, making me numb from my chest to my toes. I started shaking from the drugs and my anxiety as they wheeled me down the hall and into the operating room.
Mark was whisked away to go change into one of those surgical outfits, while they moved me to the operating table to prep me. I stared at a spot on the ceiling, trying to stop shaking, but it was impossible.
I told them about my fear of throwing up, especially during a surgery, and they “reassured me” by saying “Don’t worry, it happens all the time!”
GREAT. THANKS. THAT HELPS.
I was in full on panic mode when Mark came back in. Holding his hand so hard I could have broken it, and staring into his reassuring eyes, I felt a small flicker of peace. I still couldn’t stop shaking, but our baby was about to be born. Well, sort of? I guess born is still the right term.
The whole procedure sucked. They tell you that you won’t feel any pain, and you don’t. But what you don’t know is that you can feel things pushing and pulling all up in your insides. Like, your organs get smooshed around and you can feel everything and it’s a pretty creepy feeling. I forgot about it momentarily when they pulled her out and I heard her sweet cry and saw her sweet little (well, kind of little) body. They all gasped and muttered “Wow. That’s a big baby.” And they were right. She weight 9 lbs 2 oz. Whew!
And then I got back to shaking and feeling my insides smooshing and sloshing.
And then it was over and they were wheeling me back into a recovery room and the pain began.
The next two days were hell. I couldn’t stop shaking, was in so much pain, and kept having panic attacks. Turns out that anxiety is a side effect from narcotics, and since I already suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, those drugs really messed me up. But as soon as I figured that out, I refused any more, switched to milder pain meds, and slowly but surely stopped shaking and stopped freaking out over everything. I was able to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The first time I got out of bed it literally took 3 hours, and then I had to hold on to Mark and the nurse for dear life while I slowly hobbled like a broken dinosaur. But eventually I was able to get up and move around by myself, without clinging to walls or anything. What felt so helpless at first was quickly turning out to be an experience that taught me that I am capable of more than I knew.
Side note: You know your husband really loves you when he helps you change your pads, get dressed, shower, and basically takes care of you like you’re 95 years old. At one point I broke down crying because I felt so “un-lady-like.” I mean, he saw me at my absolute worst, in all my sweaty, vulnerable, gross, bloody, stretched out, stitched up, flabby glory, and you just never think your husband is going to see you like that. When you’re dating you think you’ll always be attractive and sexy to each other, and I just wasn’t feeling like that at all. But he sweetly told me that he thought this was the most lady-like he’d ever seen me… That I had just brought a child into this world, his daughter, and that none of those superficial, physical things mattered. We were growing our family, and he was my partner in this. And then he made me laugh about something, which was the worst. Have you ever laughed with a new c-section incision? Or coughed? Or sneezed? Don’t do it.
Amy Lynn McCann has been here over three weeks, and we are loving every minute (except for the minutes we could be sleeping). We had Mark’s mother out for the first two weeks to help with Jacob and the house, and it basically saved us. Jacob has been in love with Amy since he first met her in the hospital. He’s been so helpful and sweet and I just love that little boy. Things are stressful and crazy, but so good.
We are capable of doing incredible things. And I am so grateful to have our sweet little girl here.
And being able to eat carbs again is a MAJOR plus.
Here’s to the next chapter: Life with a Newborn and a Toddler and Three Cats.